31 December 2015

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

Wow, saying goodbye to another year already. I feel like i blinked and missed 2015, where did it go? I'm sure i've said this before, but when i was younger everyone said that as you get older time goes faster. I never really believed them because, i mean, how can time go any faster?! However, it really, really does. There just isn't enough hours in a day, days in a week, weeks in a month to get everything done that i want to do.

If i'm being honest here, i kind of feel like this past year has been a bit of a 'meh' one for me. I can pretty much remember back to January and, yes, i've done things and it's been nice but nothing considerably stands out to me. I don't feel like i've achieved a lot, i haven't done everything i've wanted to do and i just think i've been a bit lax this year. I'm not sad to say goodbye to 2015 but i am very excited to say big, fat 'hey there' to 2016.

I didn't start back blogging until March of this year, which means i took about eight months off, because full time work was taking over and i couldn't get to grips with my work/life balance. Luckily, i've settled into a nice routine and i really missed sharing on the blog so got back posting on a new schedule. Things have been pretty beauty heavy this year, really because that's where my passion lies. I love beauty products and sharing them with you, which is fine, but Legs Eleven has missed out on being as lifestyle as it used to be. I have tried to slip in some lifetysle posts towards the end of the year and, honestly, although i sometimes struggle i really do enjoy blogging. Everything from thinking of the idea, to taking the pictures and writing about it. This gives me a little spot of the internet that's not about anyone other than me and what i choose to share, which is really quite special.

I've also really jumped on the skincare bandwagon this year as my skin has never been perfect, but since i've got so heavily into reading blogs and watching Youtube i've learned so much about using the right skincare and how it can effect your skin day-to-day. Don't get me wrong, i'm no expert and certainly don't have the best skin in the world but i know how to keep it under control and i have plenty of products on hand to use if needs be.

This year i took another trip to my beloved Disney World, which i wasn't sure whether we were going to get to do or not as it's getting pretty expensive now. However, seeing as we didn't go the year before it felt all the more special. I really, really missed being there and i've spoken about this before but it really does feel like a second home. My heart actually aches to be there if i spend too long away. It was cool to experience all the new changes too, like My Disney Experience and riding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train plus eating at the restaurant in France, in EPCOT. I definitely can't wait to go back again because so many things are changing, there will soon be lots of new additions and honestly, i just love it. I had three weeks off work over my holiday as i had some time off before i flew and a weekend off when i came back which was really lovely. Who knows where i'll be headed next year, but i'm excited nonetheless.

So i've been at my current job for about a year and a half and i'm enjoying my time there, but i think i'm beginning to feel like it's time to move on from my role and try something new. There will probably be some opportunities for me in my current business in the new year, so i might apply for some of those but i'm also going to look for other options outside the business too. I'm still so young and i want to try lots of different things. I'm so grateful for everything my retail role has done for me and it's definitely grown me as a person but i'm ready to take the next step on my adventure.

This year i feel as though my blog quality is coming on leaps and bounds. Ever since i changed my blog layout i've felt as though i've needed to up my game a bit, and i really took pride in my photography and content this year. I decided that although i was posting less often, i'd rather post less but better quality and more of what i wanted. Slightly longer, in depth posts and taken more time over the images i'm posting. In the new year i'm hoping to keep up my current posting schedule and post more lifestyle, as well as beauty, as i have towards the end of this year.

I've never been what you call socially awkward but i have always had some sort of social anxiety. This year, however, i've gone out of my way to spend time with my friends, go out after work and have dinner and drinks with my lovely group of people. Through my job i've met some really amazing ones that i can truly call my friends, and there's nothing i love more then spending time with them. They make me cry with laughter and they make me feel comfortable being myself, and it's nice to do things with them outside of work. Next year i want to continue to spend time with them, mushy i know, but sometimes it can be a struggle for me to do things socially, don't ask me why but those with anxiety will understand that sometimes you just can't explain it. Hopefully if i do change jobs, roles or careers i might meet some new people or have more time to spend with my friends.

My 23rd birthday meal at Zizzi's, in April, was something really special to me. More mush but again, i really do have a great circle of people. I can't remember the last time i actually celebrated my birthday with anyone other than my family, and don't get me wrong i love spending time with my family but sometimes there's nothing like great friendships. It felt so warming and special that i had people who wanted to spend time with me for my birthday and getting cards, and gifts, was just the icing on the cake.

I've probably only visited London a grand total of three times this year which just doesn't feel like enough. I love spending time in the capital, but it is sometimes hard to get the money and time together to go. Now one of my best girl friends is at university there i definitely want to visit more and have even more of a reason to. I definitely want to keep up the visits this year, but i also want to visit some new places in the country. Another of my best girls is at university in Canterbury so it's definitely on my cards to visit her in 2016.

Sadly 2015 has been a sad and difficult year worldwide, and this world is becoming an increasingly scary place to live but it's been amazing and beautiful to see people bounce back and not let these disgusting human beings run our lives. The struggles that i've been through this year are nothing in comparison to what the world has been through, so i'm not even going to wallow in it. I'm hoping 2016 will be a happier, more settled year.

Earlier this year i posted my 30 before 30 list, which i haven't even touched yet, so i'd like to make a good dent in it next year as there are plenty of things i could start or tick off. As i've previously mentioned i'd like to visit some new places in the UK and i'd really like to visit a spa too. We'll see how realistic this all is, but i would definitely like to get going with that.

I've come to the conclusion that i just don't like making New Years resolutions, if you want to make a change you can do that any time of the year but it is always nice to have a few wishes for the year ahead. I've shared a few with you as this post has gone on and i definitely want to work on my 30 before 30 but i'm also looking forward to really making the most of this 2016. As i've said, 2015 has been a bit of a let down so i want to take every opportunity this next year, learn to really try new things, do more things, visit more places and generally just make the most of every day. I feel as though, usually, i let time pass me by especially now i'm working full time - i think it's quite easy to do. So i'd like to really make the most of my year.

I'm sorry if this post has been a bit all over the place i just kind of let myself write rather than editing it and all i have left to say is Happy New Year to all of you. Thank you for sticking with me, and i hope 2016 is an amazing year for us all.


19 December 2015

Countdown to Christmas: Travel Atomisers

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom, Marc Jacobs Daisy

I've only really used travel atomisors for about a year, i took the plunge and bought some in November 2014 since i'd always heard so much about them. Since i started work i often forget to put my perfume on before i leave and these have been the perfect solution. I just fill it with whatever i'm currently loving, pop it in my bag and i can apply it when i get to work.

I use Travalos and they're super easy to use; you simply take the spritzer off the top of your perfume of choice, and pump it into the bottom of the Travelo until it's full. It really is that simple.

They're perfect for this time of year too, i popped one in my clutch for my work Christmas party, you can take them on a festive date and they're also great for long-haul travel too. They're pretty much spill-proof so you can keep it in any bags. These seem like a really obvious accessory but honestly i had not thought about using them really and now i have them, they're super helpful.

I would suggest looking around for them as they really vary in price.

All opinions are my own and everything was purchased by myself.

16 December 2015

What to Buy: When Splashing Out

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette: £65 | Charlotte Tilbury The Vintage Vamp Set: £165 | Bobbi Brown Secret to Stand Out Eyes Eyeshadow Set: £69 | Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow: £49 | Mulberry Lily Mini Across Body Bag in Fiery Spritz: £350 | MICHEAL Micheal Kors Selma Large Leather Satchel: £330 | Mulberry Leather Long Locked Leather Purse: £275 | DKNY Check Flannel Pyjama Set: £69 | Astley Clarke Muse a Little Light 14ct Rose Gold Diamond Stud Earrings: £450 | Links of London Adjustable Cord Friendship Bracelet: £140 | Kate Spade Hardshell Case for Iphone 6: £34.95 | Roberts Revival Mini DAB/FM Digital Radio in Sunburst: 129.95 | BOSS T-Raymond Mother of Pearl Cufflinks: £155 | Ugg Cosy Knit Heart Printed Slippers: £95

Splashing out, honestly, i think is the easiest category to shop for because there really is so many amazing, beautiful gifts out there if you have the money to splash on them.

You could go for beauty, like the Hourglass Ambient Edit Palette that i mentioned earlier in the gift guides or a lovely eyeshadow palter, like this Bobbi one as there is just so many out there. There's also anything by Charlotte Tilbury which, as i explained in the beauty gift guide, if for nothing else the packaging is just exquisite but also the products really are out of this world.

Sleepwear is always appreciated at Christmas, well it is in my house, and these DKNY pyjamas really are some of the softest, quality pyjamas out there. They also come in a beautifully presented ribbon and black box too, which looks like the perfect gift. Now, Ugg boots are some of the comfiest footwear i've worn so having them in slipper form is quite amazing. They feel super warm, and i love that they come in this fun pattern.

Jewellery is always a winner, in my book, and these are some lovely examples. Earrings, bracelets, cufflinks, there's so many options, and brands, and customisable products for everyone.

If you really want to treat a loved one in your life, Mulberry is a very special, yet expensive, way to go. Here i've suggested a bag and a wallet, which are both made of the best kind of leather and are super classic. They really are a luxury item, but if you could afford to splash out, it really is a very special present.

Lastly, i added in one of the new Roberts radios that come in half the size of the old ones, which i think are really cool and really beautifully aesthetic. I also added in Kate Spade phone case which is really unnecessary but something you'd like, but that you'd not buy for yourself.

So there you have it, all of this year's Christmas Gift Guides. What are you asking for this year and what are you planning to buy your loved ones?


12 December 2015

Countdown to Christmas: Decorating the Home

I've shared for the last couple of years how i've chosen to decorate for the festive season, so i thought i'd bring it back again and show you a few snippets of my decorations for the year.

This is our Christmas tree for 2015, we do tend to go for a similar vibe every year. I know some people change the theme every year, but we love a mix and match style with all of the baubles we've collected over the years. There's my first Christmas baubles, ornaments we've picked up from Disney World, ones we've been gifted and of course candy canes to finish it off. We also prefer multi coloured lights to white, i know that can be a real debate in some households.

We also choose to have a welcome light in our bay window, but this is actually a fairly new tradition, i think, we've only had one for five years or so. I really like the idea though and it's really lovely to come home to.

There's a whole host of other ornaments and decoration around the house but if i showed you all of that too we'd be here all day, so next up is my room. I always like to have a nativity in my room, as it's something i've been brought up with and i also think it's nice to remember why we really celebrate Christmas, but that's obviously up to personal preference.

Other things around my room, i collected these red glass pieces probably a year or two ago from the local garden centre and i have two of the small wine glass style tea light holders - or that's what i'm using them for - a bowl and a plate that all live around my room. As i said, the glasses look really lovely with just a plain tealight inside them, especially through the red. I have my winter candles out, the one you can in the top photo is a pine scented one from Sainsburys actually from last year, which i don't think they have this year which is sad. Below that is my little pixie kings tealight holder which i'm really not sure where i got it from, but it comes out every year and i love it. It's gold and sparkly and i love the little pixies sitting on the crown. As you can see from the top, i also have my gold, glittery Merry Christmas from Tesco which i adore and actually have two of, as well as my red glass tealight lantern.

A new addition for 2015 is my DIY fairy light jar, that is just so pinterest. I've seen these all over the internet and i just thought they were super pretty and really effective. It was so simple to put together, all i needed was the ribbed glass jar, which i bought from John Lewis, and the fairly lights that are on wire which i got from Lights4Fun. It's such a cute idea for a night light, too. They're battery operated too, so it's all kept in the jar and i honestly just love it.

I bought this felt Christmas tree from John Lewis last year, and they've brought it back again this year, it's only £20 and i think it's super cute. I love that it's still traditional but a little bit quirky too.

I like to have a lot of lights in my room at this time of year, because i think that's one of my favourite things at Christmastime. I have my own battery operated welcome light that i have in my window, i think i bought it from Wilkinsons a couple of years ago. It's just plastic and plain white but when it's dark and lit up it's really effective. I also have this really pretty light-up fake holly garland that i wind around my bedhead. Again, they're battery operated and just so pretty when it's all dark and they're lit up. BUT best of all, i have my fairy lights all the way around my ceiling. I simply adore them and i the morning i light to get ready by just the light of my fairy lights.

Lastly, this is my advent calendar. My parents bought this for me when i was at uni and sent it to me in the post, filled up ready for Christmas and she's kept up the tradition for me. This year, so far, i've had all sorts from Lindt teddys, mini sharpies, socks and hair bobbles. I actually love that there's so many different things in it, as i'm not a huge chocolate lover plus it's just a really lovely decoration.

So there you have it, that's how i've decorated for Christmas this year. Please do share your favourite ways to decorate!


9 December 2015

What to Buy: For Secret Santa

The Modern Cocktail Champagne Mixers: £10 | Charbonnel et Walker Mini Red Heart Champagne Truffles: £4 | Jelly Belly 49 Flavour Tube: £6 | University Games Pointless Travel Game: £7.99 | Cath Kidston Notecard Book & Envelopes: £10 | Ginger Fox Heat-Changing Star Mug: £10 | Bath House Cocktail Soap: £6 | Heathcote & Ivory Rainforest Bathing Flowers: £10 | L'Occitane Indulging Almond Bauble: £10 | John Lewis Plain Heart Stud Earrings: £8 | Joma Kiko Friendship Silk Bracelet: £9.99 | Happy Jackson Coin Purse: £8.95 | Collection WEEKEND by John Lewis Star Simple Cardholder: £10 | John Lewis Man on the Moon Age UK Mug: £5 | Kold Cocktail Cosmopolitan Cocktail: £7

I kind of feel like this one speaks for itself. I've tried to, however, keep everything £10 and under as i know that most secret santas are kept to a budget. I know that it's really easy just to buy fairly boring gifts, so i've tried to come up with some slightly more interesting options and i hope you get some inspiration from this.


5 December 2015

Countdown to Christmas: Winter Footwear

I've been doing seasonal footwear posts for a couple of years now and, i don't know why but, i really enjoy them. It's interesting to see how my tastes change, what i wear each season and what gets added or chucked from my collection. So, without further ado, here's what i have been and what i'll continue to wear this Winter.

Carvela Tag Block Heeled Black Leather Ankle Boots | These are the newest additions to my shoe collection and i flipping love them. I recently had to get rid of my favourite pair of heeled ankle boots from River Island. I bought them probably four or five years ago and when i got them out this season, i only wore them once and they began to peel as they were only fake leather. In the past couple of years i have decided to buy only real leather shoes as they last much longer and they are, obviously, better quality. So these are the boots that i chose to replace them. I feel really sassy when i wear them! The heel height is perfect, not too high but i feel a little more dressed up. I also think the ankle height is perfect, i don't really suit the 'shoe-boot' style so it's nice that they go up a little bit higher.

Topshop Mambo Lace-up Chunky Boots | After what i just said these ones aren't leather and i've had these ones probably only a year. They're a really good faux leather, however, and are also really comfortable. It's nice that they've got a little platform at the front so it makes it slightly easier to walk in them. Again, they're a good heel height and they come up nicely on the ankle so are perfect for jeans or dresses. What's also perfect for me is that i have really skinny ankles, and feet, so sometimes boots can look a little ridiculous on me but with these, i can lace them up as tight as i want so that they fit my ankles.

Clarks Cleated Sole Buckle-up Ankle Boots | I think i bought these last Winter, and i wore them non-stop last year but i have to say that the only thing about them is, they can make my skinny ankles look a bit ridiculous. They are really chunky which sometimes i really love, but i kind of have to be in the mood to wear them. They are really comfortable and, again, i can buckle them up to really fit my ankles.

Clarks Griffin Mabel Black Leather Shoes | When i visited Edinburgh two Summers ago, all i took with me was a little pair of canvas pumps and in typical Scotland style it just rained non-stop which meant i had very wet feet. So i stopped by Clarks and bought these to protect me from the rain. They're leather and so, so comfortable. They fit my feet perfectly and have lasted me through all weathers!

New Look Black Fringed Tassel T-Bar Shoes | These were only added to my collection this past year mainly because, as i said, i wanted to wear mainly just leather shoes. However, they were quite uncomfortable for the first wear but i love the way they look.

Clarks Nessa Clare Black Leather Knee High Boots | I've had these ones for a couple of years now and they have seen me through a good couple of Winters. I wear them with just about everything, everything from jeans to skirts. They wear so well and with a good polish they look brand new again. These were probably the start of my realisation that quality shoes are better for my feet, and for my bank balance - in the long run. They fit my feet and my tiny ankles perfectly too, which is always an achievement.

ASOS Lace-up Brogue Ankle Boots | I bought these in desperation for having no ankle boots that fitted me and, although, they weren't exactly what i wanted but they did the job. I actually love these more now than when i first bought them but again i can do them up to fit my ankles and i love the brogue style, too.

Royal Blue Ankle Ugg Boots | Lastly is my lovely royal blue Ugg boots that i bought in Florida goodness knows how long ago. They always make a repeat appearance in the Winter. I don't wear them as much as some of my other boots, because they're harder to style and they're pretty casual but i still love them. I'm glad i've got them for those days where you just want to be comfortable.

Another Winter, another footwear post. What are your favourite pairs of shoes to wear at this time of year?


2 December 2015

December Beauty Wishlist

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Toilette | Liz Earle Instant Radiance Collection in Light | Estée Lauder New Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II | Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence | Clarins Cleansing Milk for Combination/Oily SkinCharlotte Tilbury Nocturnal Cat Eyes To Hypnotise in On The Prowl | Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder | NARS Eyeshadow in StudCharlotte Tilbury Rock 'N' Kohl Liquid Eyeliner Pencil in Elizabeth Violet | Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque | Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in Tisse Vendome | Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner in Distortion | Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner in Spandex | John Lewis Frosted Pine Boxed Scented Candle

I recently saw a couple of other bloggers post about their current beauty wishlists and it got me a-thinking that i almost constantly have a beauty wishlist, i just keep it on my computer and don't share it. So, i thought as 'tis the season, i'd share my current beauty lusts with you.

Maybe i'll start with the few items that i've actually bought since i scheduled this post! Well, i just couldn't resist - especially as there was a price match on at work, which means i get the low price plus my discount so it'd be rude not to. I ended up purchasing the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder, as i was complaining to my friend at work that i was having trouble with the concealer creasing under my eyes, and when i said no to her asking whether i set it with powder - well. Apparently it's a cardinal sin not to set your under eye concealer with a setting powder and she suggested this, so i held my hands up and promised to buy it. I haven't given it a good test yet but if it's anything to write home about, i'm sure you'll see it on the blog in the coming weeks. I also bought the Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner in Distortion which is an amazing duo-chrome, multicoloured glitter which looks amazing over other eyeliner and eyeshadow to add a touch of sparkle. I really want this in the shade Spandex too, which is a black based multicoloured glitter to wear on it's own but i withheld myself on that one. Lastly, i purchased the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Psychedelic Sister which isn't actually on this list but i was umming and ahhing between buying the Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'N' Kohl in Elizabeth Violet and Urban Decay's Psychedelic Sister, well as Urban Decay went into price match and the colour is much more vibrant - i went for the UD offering. I thought they'd all come in very handy over the Christmas period that seems to have appeared out of nowhere, this year.

This Chanel palette has been on my wishlist since, about, March this year. I took a trip to London with my friend, and decided it was time to purchase my first Chanel palette. I perused my options, and took my time deciding which one was right for me eventually deciding on this one, Tisse Vendome, and upon asking to purchase it was told that they didn't have any in stock. After setting my heart on it, i searched just about every Chanel counter in the Oxford Street area, evening heading out to Peter Jones, and was told they thought it was being discontinued. HEARTBROKEN. Not for too long, though, as since then i've come to own three but i've always kept it at the back of my mind. I then came to see that it has now popped up onto all Chanel retailers online and i can't help but just really want it. Looking at swatches online, i've fallen back in love and it will be mine!

A few skincare items on my wishlist too, as i really love my skincare. I've had the Clarins Cleansing Milk for Dry skin in my stash for a good while, now, but my skin just continues to get oilier so i'd really like to try the one that is actually made for my skin. I'd also love to try a Liz Earle sampler set and they're such a good price, too. I love my Cleanse & Polish so i'd love to see what else they have to offer. I've heard a lot about the Skin Tonic and the Soothing Eye Tonic, and this set has all of that plus a light version of their moisturiser so i think it'd be nice to put it all to the test. Something else i've had my eye on for a long time is the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair but i've just never had the guts to splash the cash. However, since i've been using the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate i've really been enjoying using oils and serums in my routine, so i think it's finally time to test it out. Everyone raves about it and i rarely see any bad reviews of it so i'd really like to give it a go. Lastly, in the skincare stakes, is the Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence. I cannot, for the life of me, remember who i saw talking about this product but they raved about it for it's dark spot reducing properties and it's supposed to help your skin get the most out of the rest of your skincare routine. Honestly, it's claims just intrigue me and i'd like to see how it works.

I love myself some Charlotte Tilbury and i'd love to try one of her new shadow and liner duos, especially in On the Prowl which is a beautiful purple shade, and the shadow is an amazing shimmery, sparkly duo-chrome finish. I'm pretty sure these are selling at a reduced price compared to what you would pay for a liner and shadow separately, so this is a great way to test out the brand. Fortunately, i know how amazing her shadows are so i'd be glad of another one but i'd love to try her liners, as i previously said. I'm also desperate for the new NARS eyeshadow in Stud from their Steven Klein collection which is an amazing sparkly cool toned gold, which is perfect for the festive period.

The Bobbi Brown corrector is basically on here because i already own it but in a shade, or two, too dark for me but i've got a couple of back ups and i feel like i need to use them before i purchase anything new. I'm currently using the Tarte CC Undereye Corrector which is more my shade but once i'm finished i'll crack on with what i've got from Bobbi and maybe in the new year i'll buy my actual shade. I've also tagged on my favourite, signature scent which is Marc Jacobs' Daisy and, honestly, i just need a new one.

Lastly, is the John Lewis Frosted Pine candle which i really just need in my life. I love Christmas candles and this is my favourite kind of scent.

What are you lusting after at the moment? Hoping for any beauty products for Christmas?

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